Church History
Doctrine and Covenants 125–128

Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources: Doctrine and Covenants 125–128, Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources (2020)

Doctrine and Covenants 125–128, Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources

Doctrine and Covenants 125–128

Black and white photo of a two-story home built of light brick with an annex in the back.

The Edward and Ann Hunter home, Nauvoo, Illinois, USA, was the site of two revelations received by Joseph Smith in September 1842 concerning baptisms for the dead.

Church History Library, PH 9641.


Historical background and the earliest manuscript of each revelation, as published in The Joseph Smith Papers

Revelation, circa Early March 1841 [D&C 125]

In early March 1841, Joseph Smith dictated a revelation directing the Latter-day Saints in Iowa Territory to settle in Zarahemla, Lee County, Iowa Territory, or in other appointed gathering sites. More …

Revelation, 9 July 1841 [D&C 126]

On 9 July 1841, Joseph Smith dictated a revelation for Brigham Young, releasing him from extended travel and admonishing him to remain with and care for his family. More …

Letter to “All the Saints in Nauvoo,” 1 September 1842

On 1 September 1842, Joseph Smith dictated to William Clayton a letter addressed to church members in Nauvoo, Illinois, informing them that he was planning to leave the city in order to evade arrest and extradition to Missouri. More …

Letter to the Church, 7 September 1842 [D&C 128]

On 7 September 1842, Joseph Smith dictated a letter addressed to the church giving further instructions on performing and recording baptisms for the dead. More …


Biographical facts and historical images of individuals associated with the revelations

Historical Background

Photograph of a book with a tan leather cover.

This substantial volume contains the minutes of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo from its founding on March 17, 1842, through its final meeting on March 16, 1844. Eliza R. Snow, secretary of the Nauvoo society, later carried the book to Utah and used it frequently in instructing local Relief Society leaders and members.

Nauvoo Relief Society Minute Book, 1842–1844, Church History Museum.

Nauvoo Relief Society Minute Book

The record of thirty-three meetings of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo commences with the founding meeting on March 17, 1842. A few weeks earlier Sarah M. Granger Kimball, a wealthy young matron in Nauvoo, proposed forming a “Ladies’ Society” to provide clothing for workers constructing the temple in the city. More …

Photograph of an ornate pocket watch

Joseph Smith gave this watch to Eliza R. Snow, secretary of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo, admonishing her to begin and end the meetings on time.

Pocket watch owned by Eliza R. Snow, ca. 1840s, Church History Museum.

Revelations in Context

Essays on the background of each revelation

Organizing the Church in Nauvoo

D&C 124, 125

Doctrine and Covenants 125, a brief revelation received in March 1841, concerns the establishing of the Zarahemla stake across the Mississippi River, in Iowa Territory. More …

“Take Special Care of Your Family”

D&C 118, 126

A week after Brigham Young’s return to Nauvoo, on July 9, 1841, Joseph Smith visited him at his home. More …

Letters on Baptism for the Dead

D&C 127, 128

When the Lord restored through Joseph Smith the doctrine of the redemption of the dead through the performance of proxy baptisms, He answered age-old questions and satisfied deep longings. More …

Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days

Narrative history of events surrounding the revelations

Volume 1, Chapter 39

The Seventh Trouble

By the end of August, the letters John Bennett had published earlier that summer were being reprinted in newspapers across the country, damaging the church’s reputation and making it harder for missionaries to share the message of the restored gospel. More …

Volume 1, Chapter 46

Endowed with Power

As the workers prepared the attic of the temple for the endowment and sealings, baptisms for the dead continued in the basement. Under the Lord’s direction, Brigham instructed that men should no longer be baptized for women nor women for men. More …

Recording Baptisms for the Dead

A Church historian displays rarely-seen records of baptisms for the dead that illustrate important principles

Worship Services in the Unfinished Nauvoo Temple

A Church historian explains how Latter-day Saints in Nauvoo worshipped in the still-unfinished Nauvoo temple

Church History Topics

Essays on subjects related to the revelations

Baptism for the Dead

Revelations to Joseph Smith reaffirmed the necessity of baptism for salvation and taught that this ordinance needed to be performed with restored priesthood authority. More …

Female Relief Society of Nauvoo

When seamstress Margaret Cook noticed that construction workers on the Nauvoo Temple were in need of shirts, she proposed the idea of a sewing group. More …

Emma Hale Smith

Emma Smith, wife of Joseph Smith, played a prominent role in the restoration of the Church. More …

Eliza R. Snow

Eliza Roxcy Snow was born in Massachusetts in 1804 and grew up in Ohio. More …

Missouri Extradition Attempts

Following the armed conflict between Saints and other Missourians in the fall of 1838, several Church leaders, including Joseph Smith, were arrested and imprisoned on a variety of charges. More …


Latter-day Saints believe that God has restored to the earth the power given to the ancient Apostle Peter to bind, or seal, on earth and in heaven. More …

Photograph of a clock in a small ornate metal case.

As a missionary in Great Britain, Wilford Woodruff sent his wife, Phebe, this key-wind mantle clock when he learned of the death of their young daughter Sarah. The clock was crafted by the Church’s first London convert, watchmaker Henry Connor.

Mantle clock owned by Phebe Woodruff, 1841, Church History Museum.


Maps and information about places associated with the revelations from The Joseph Smith Papers, Historic Sites, and other helpful sources


Timeline placing each revelation in the context of key events in the Church’s first century